Article Text

other Versions

Alcohol intake and the Risk of coronary heart disease in the Spanish EPIC cohort study
  1. Larraitz Arriola1,*,
  2. Pablo Martinez-Camblor2,
  3. Nerea Larrañaga2,
  4. Mikel Basterretxea2,
  5. Pilar Amiano2,
  6. Conchi Moreno-Iribas3,
  7. Rakel Carracedo2,
  8. Antonio Agudo4,
  9. Eva Ardanaz3,
  10. Aurelio Barricarte3,
  11. Genevieve Buckland4,
  12. Lluis Cirera5,
  13. Maria Dolores Chirlaque5,
  14. Carmen Martinez6,
  15. Esther Molina6,
  16. Carmen Navarro5,
  17. Jose Ramon Quiros7,
  18. Laudina Rodriguez7,
  19. Maria Jose Sanchez6,
  20. Maria Jose Tormo5,
  21. Carlos Alberto Gonzalez4,
  22. Miren Dorronsoro1
  1. 1 Public Health Department of Gipuzkoa. Basque Government. CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Spain;
  2. 2 Public Health Department of Gipuzkoa. Basque Government. CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública., Spain;
  3. 3 Public Health Institute of Navarra, Pamplona. CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Spain;
  4. 4 Unit of Nutrition, Environment and Cancer, Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), Spain;
  5. 5 Department of Epidemiology, Murcia Health Council, Murcia. CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública., Spain;
  6. 6 Andalusian School of Public Health, Granada. CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública., Spain;
  7. 7 Public Health and Health Planning Directorate, Asturias, Spain
  1. Correspondence to: Larraitz Arriola, Public Health Department of Gipuzkoa, Av. Navarra 4, San Sebastian, 20003, Spain; l-arriola{at}



The association between alcohol consumption and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) has been broadly studied. Most studies conclude that moderate alcohol intake reduces the risk of CHD. There are many discussions on whether the association is causal or biased. The objective is to analyse the association between alcohol intake and risk of CHD in the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC).


Participants from the EPIC Spanish cohort were included (15,630 men and 25,808 women). The median follow up period was 10 years. Ethanol intake was calculated using a validated dietary history questionnaire. Participants with a definite CHD event were considered cases. A Cox regression model was performed adjusted for relevant covariables and stratified by age. Separate models were carried out for men and women.

Results Crude incidence rate of CHD was 300.6/100,000 person-years for men and 47.9/100, 000 person-years for women. Moderate, high and very high consumption was associated with a reduce risk of CHD in men: HR 0.86 (95% CI= 0.54-1.38) for former drinkers, 0.64 (95% CI= 0.4-1.0) for low, 0.47 (95% CI= 0.31-0.73) for moderate, 0.45 (95% CI= 0.29-0.69) for high and 0.49 (95% CI= 0.28-0.86) for very high consumers. In women a negative association was found with p values above 0.05 in all categories.

Conclusions In men aged 29-69 years, alcohol intake was associated with a more than 30% lower CHD incidence. Our study is based on a large prospective cohort study and is free of the abstainer error.

Statistics from


    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.